Read Megann Marcellino’s story of how honoring Shabbat at home has blessed her family…
Recently, I shared our family’s journey of the One New Man, how this changed our family culture, and subsequently changed how we honored Shabbat at home… Click HERE to read my story.
How We Came to Honoring Shabbat at Home
When Joseph was born, we stayed home for a few months which was followed by an extended trip and then COVID. As a result, we had almost 6 months of Shabbat at home.
This was something I never even considered a possibility. For us, Shabbat was always a corporate experience. However, the season of honoring Shabbat at home was such a gift to us as parents and brought to light an understanding I think we needed in order to build a better faith foundation for our children.
Celebrating Shabbat at Home Changed Us
Ariebella loves celebrating Shabbat with our church family. She looks forward to it every week! But it wasn’t until we began practicing the traditions of Shabbat at home as a family of four that she began to understand that it wasn’t just about seeing her friends.
- We began preparing for Shabbat together, cleaning the houses, and making dinner.
- She began covering her head and lighting candles.
- She learned the blessing in Hebrew and English.
- We sang “Shabbat Shalom.”
- We welcomed peace and rest into our home, and she became a part of the process.
When I was a child, we read “Bedtime for Frances.” However, now as a mom, I don’t recommend it for 4-year-olds. It gives way too many ideas for additional naughty bedtime shenanigans!
Don’t we already have enough?
Water. Check. Song. Check. Favorite blanket. Check. Book. Check. Prayer. Check. Cuddles. Check. Nightlight on. Check. Door cracked. More water. Check.
Can you relate?
Towards the end of “Bedtime for Frances,” Frances’ father steps in with this wise advice:
“‘Everybody has a job,’ said Father. ‘I have to go to my office every morning at nine o’clock. That is my job. You have to go to sleep so that you can be wide awake for school tomorrow. That is your job.’”
This advice has its place in our home today.
3 Blessings We Experienced from Honoring Shabbat at Home
Shabbat at Home Revealed How Each of Us Are Responsible for Bringing Peace into the Home
My parents have always taught me that I was a piece of the puzzle in our home. Part of my job was to help keep the peace. In order to “keep the peace” in the home, I had to actively participate in my attitude, choices, and behavior.
Of course, this was part of my parent’s responsibility as well, but they taught me that each of us plays a part in making the atmosphere of a home peaceable.
Keeping Shabbat at home with Ariebella has given her a stake in that responsibility.
Shabbat at Home Opened the Door to Great Conversations
It has made it tangible and has opened the door to great learning experiences and conversations. During the time that we were home, we streamed Friday services and watched them after our meal. Ariebella would sit next to us on the couch.
We set this time apart for her. She had two choices: bedtime or listen to the Word with mom and dad. Of course, she chose to stay awake as long as possible, although she often crashed beside me!
This discipline changed her and changed our expectation of a 4-year-old experience.
She could in fact sit, listen, engage, and learn. Sure, parts were over her head, but it was not over her spirit.
Shabbat at Home Created a Spiritual Foundation for Our Children
When we brought Shabbat home and allowed her to participate at her level it changed everything. It was made personal—which is exactly what we want as parents.
We want our children to have a personal relationship and spiritual foundation. We want them to experience God the Father. We want them to long for His table and see the invitation to “come home,” which is the opposite of legalistic obligation.
But the foundation and desire are built, encouraged, and demonstrated at home.
Shabbat and the Connection to the Father and His Timetable
In Genesis 1 and 2, we read the accounts of creation. We see in the first few verses that God establishes time with the creation of light and the division of light (day) and darkness (night). The first day was created when God spoke light into existence and saw that “it was good.”
In Matthew 5:14, Yeshua compares the disciples to light when He says, “You are the light of the world.” He also comparesHimself to light in John 8:12 when He said, “I am the light of the world.”
Because of this, I think there is a great human connection to God the Father and His cycle of time. We were created to move in sync with Him. As the “light,” we are intimately connected with the foundation of His structure, creation, and God’s times and seasons.
In Genesis 1, God blessed the living creatures and mankind. The next thing He blessed was the seventh day, Shabbat. He not only blessed it but He “sanctified it” or “called it holy,” which means He set it apart.
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”—Genesis 2:2-3
In the very fibers of creation, God established time and Shabbat, which demonstrates the importance of rest. To me, that says these things are of high importance to my Father and, therefore, I should also highly value them.
As a parent, I must prioritize the separation of time.
When we keep Shabbat at home as a family, we are creation walking in unity and alignment with our Creator. And isn't this where all healing and purpose lies?
We are light yielding.
Life is extremely full. But when we are able to be consistent with Shabbat as a family, I have seen the most beautiful fruit in our daughter and I would like to hope that my Father God says the same about me.